Attendees at the protection and learning event

Practitioner event focuses on protecting people


Our Protection and Learning Team recently supported a multi-agency practitioner learning event which focused on safeguarding and protecting people from harm. The purpose of the event was to share learning and examples of good practice as well as to support staff wellbeing.

‘No Closed Door’ took place on Wednesday 6 September at Kilmarnock’s Grand Hall and involved frontline practitioners from NHS, Education, Housing, Health & Social Care, Alcohol and Drugs services, Police Scotland, East Ayrshire Recovery Network, Women’s Aid, Violence Against Women’s Services and East Ayrshire Advocacy Services to name a few.

As part of the event, attendees were invited to select and participate in two ‘Conversation Café’ workshops. One of these was ‘Being Ben’, led by Donna Sinforiani, Lead Officer for Adult Support and Protection, and Alison Kennedy, Team Manager for Housing Options.

Ben’s heartbreaking story highlighted the importance of health and care services communicating effectively to protect people from neglect and self-neglect, ensuring their right to palliative care, comfort and dignity is fulfilled as they near the end of their life.

Donna said:

“Keeping focused on seeing the person is key to understanding what might support and protect them from harm they experience. Add in partners who stay connected and talk to each other brings relationships that can and will make a positive difference. The mix of services represented today is testament to the value placed on this in East Ayrshire.”

Last on the agenda was a panel discussion, led by Dale Meller, Senior Manager for Protection and Learning. Panel members included Kirsten Neilson (EAHSCP Organisational Development), Neil Kerr (Chair of East Ayrshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership), Marion MacAulay (Chair of Violence Against Women Partnership) Moira McKinnon (Chair of Child Protection Committee) and Susan Maguire (Chair of Adult Protection Committee).

Dale emphasised the importance of effective team working in reducing harm in our communities:

“This event highlighted the complexity of public protection work and the importance of cross-agency relationships and support for practitioners.  We work best when we work together to protect people and there is a huge amount of experience and skill across our organisations.”

Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with many commenting on how much they enjoyed the Conversation Cafes on lived experience.

Comments included…

“[The event] was really well done, and having it as a practioners’ event was a good opportunity to bring contributions from different angles.”

“All of the inputs were really interesting and thought-provoking and really opened up the issue of how we can do more by working together.”

“I attended the Families affected by Drug and Alcohol use [workshop] – this was the highlight of the day for me. The lived experience perspective was excellent and prompted a really balanced and empathic discussion.”

I also attended Being Ben which was very informative. I enjoyed the variety this brought to the day with the more interactive style and again it prompted some really good discussion with multi disciplinary colleagues.”

The Protection and Learning team would like to thank all contributors, practitioners and organisations for participating, and staff at the Grand Hall for making the event such a success.